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AICPA Code of Professional Conduct Violations&nbspPlease respo

    AICPA Code of Professional Conduct Violations’ Please respond to the following:1.  From the e-Activity, discuss one violation of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct leading to a disciplinary action. Explore the risks that relationships or circumstances played in the failure of the CPA to comply with the rules of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct leading up to the violation. 2.  Examine current safeguards available to reduce the risks of the violation you identified.  Discuss the specific safeguard you would recommend to reduce risks if confronted with a similar situation.**Week 8 e-activityUse the Internet to research at least two current cases involving violations of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. Be prepared to discuss.’IBM and Google ethical question’3.  From the case study (FOUND BELOW), explain whether or not you agree with IBM’s cost-reduction decisions regarding both the pension plan overtime for employees and the acquisition of a competitor to protect IBM’s competitive position in the mainframe business. Examine how IBM’s actions contradict its value statement.4.  Support or critique Google’s actions, as identified in the situations within the case study. Discuss the impact of Google’s actions on its reputation as an ethical and socially responsible firm.All i need is a few distinct paragraphs for each of the 4 questions.  Nothing too profound (approx. 250 words per question).  Please also provide APA style references for any cited works that you useCase Study for the IBM and Google questions:Supplement:IBM and Google are two of the most successful firms in the history of business. Sincethe demise of Bell Laboratories following the breakup of AT&T, IBM has had the world’sleading corporate research labs. Five IBM scientists have won Nobel Prizes in physics(compared with 12 from Bell Labs), and every year since at least 1992 IBM employeeshave been granted more patents than employees at any other firm in the world.1 Moreimportantly, some technology analysts consider IBM’s research more fundamental,yet more practical, and its patents more valuable, than those of most competitors.Google was founded in 1998 by two Stanford computer science graduate students,Larry Page and Sergey Brin, at the start of the Internet boom. Google quickly  becamethe world’s dominant search engine and gained widespread fame for its corporateculture. Google offered employees free healthy lunches and dinners, and snack tables were spread throughout the firm’s offices. Google buildings included space forbicycles, pets, pool and foosball tables, volleyball courts, and gyms. The firm offeredemployees free massages, meditation classes, and yoga sessions. Employees wereencouraged to spend 20% of their time at work on projects of their choice, which ledto innovative developments and motivated employees.profitability and soon transformed IBM from primarily a computer manufacturer into afirm that provided information technology (IT) services throughout the world. In the mid-1990s, data processing became so complex that many large organizations outsourcedtheir entire IT departments. IBM was one of the few firms in the world large enough andskilled enough to manage those projects. That work was highly profitable, but by the late1990s IBM’s service operations faced severe competition, first from large Indian IT firmssuch as Infosys Technologies and Wipro Limited and then from Hewlett Packard.For at least the past 40 years IBM has been one of the world’s most respected com-panies. However, because it faced various competitive challenges from Microsoft,Indian IT firms, and Hewlett Packard, IBM was forced to take actions to reduce costs,and many of those actions were widely criticized (see below). In July 2003, IBM in-vited all 319,000 of its employees throughout the world to engage in an open “valuesjam” on its global intranet. Tens of thousands of employees offered comments aboutthe company over a three-day period. That discussion produced IBM’s current corpo-rate value statement (Exhibit 2).5 According to that value statement, employees werebrutally honest, and some of what they wrote was painful for management to read.Exhibit 2 states that IBM’s stock price must increase by 10% before IBM’s 300 mostsenior executives benefit from their employee stock options. In addition, the executivesmust first invest their own funds in IBM stock before they can buy stock under IBM’sexecutive stock option plan. The corporate values statement mentions that this require-ment is unique in the computer industry and possibly in all of U.S. business. AlthoughIBM’s value statement is more restrictive than most values statements for U.S. compa-nies, IBM has received criticism for some of its actions during the past 10 years.Pension disputeLike most large companies founded prior to the 1990s, IBM included a defined ben-efit pension plan for all employees as part of its compensation package.6 IBM termi-nated its defined benefit pension plan in 1999 and transferred all employees to a cashbalance pension plan.7 Employees filed a class action lawsuit against IBM claimingthe plan discriminated against older workers. In 2003, a lower court ruled that IBM’srevised pension plan did discriminate against older employees. IBM appealed thecase, but to limit its maximum exposure it agreed to pay plaintiffs $320 million. If IBMlost on appeal, it agreed to pay an additional $1.4 billion (i.e., plaintiffs agreed to a$1.4 billion additional payment as a cap). In 2007, IBM won its appeal, although the$320 million payment was not returned because of the contractual agreement.Google’s 2008 revenues increased by 31% from 2007 but, partially because of a$1.1 billion impairment charge for Clearwire and AOL equity investments, Google’s2008 operating income exceeded 2007 operating income by only 3.2%.Revenues for the first three quarters of 2009 were only 5.5% higher than the first threequarters of 2008. However, because of firm-wide cost cuts, including Google’s firstever employee count reduction (by only 2.3%), Google’s operating income before tax increased by 22%. Like IBM, Google has recently been criticized for some of its actions.Dual classes of stockGoogle first issued stock to the public in August 2004. Google separated its equityownership into two classes of stock. The A shares, which were sold to the public, haveone vote per share; the B shares, primarily owned by cofounders Sergey Brin andLarry Page—and CEO Eric Schmidt—have 10 votes per share. Dual class  commonstock has been relatively common in the newspaper industry (The New York Timesand, prior to its acquisition by News Corp, Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal). It hasalso been used by some family-controlled firms, such as Molex Inc.Google’s founders stated that they wanted to control the firm to avoid quarterlyearnings pressure from security analysts.14 In 2006, shareholders proposed thatGoogle eliminate its two classes of stock, but the founders rejected that proposal.Many Google competitors worry that this will give Google a significant advantagein targeting its advertising. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and variousother organizations objected to the settlement because of privacy concerns. Theyworry Google Books will give Google unique insight into the reading habits of thosewho download books.The U.S. Department of Justice, several European countries, and some membersof the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are concerned that this legal settle-ment circumvents U.S. and foreign government copyright laws. The U.S. DOJ statedthat the settlement would provide benefits to the public but also raises significantissues regarding class action, copyright, and antitrust laws.17The agreement has been widely criticized throughout Europe, including in aspeech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the German governmentstrongly opposed Google Books, a project so secret that Google will not allow any-one to observe how it scans books.18In response, Google cofounder Sergey Brin published an editorial, “A Library toLast Forever,” in The New York Times on October 8, 2009.19 Mr. Brin passionatelyargued that Google Books is primarily an altruistic effort by Google to make booksavailable to the public that would otherwise be lost forever. He strongly defendedthe  settlement because it allows payment to authors who would otherwise receive nothing for their work and because it allows any other company an equal  opportunityto scan orphan books.On December 18, 2009, a French court ruled that Google Books violates France’scopyright laws. A French court fined Google €300,000 ($431,000), plus €10,000($14,300) per day until it stops providing viewers with portions of the scanned books.The lawsuit, brought by French publishing houses, accused Google of offering freesearchable portions of copyrighted books. In doing so, Google earns advertising rev-enues without adequately compensating copyright holders.

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